Island Health offers explanation of bed plan

Official says Tuesday's front-page story needs some clarification — you decide

Island Health says its CEO Dr. Brendan Carr did not indicate last week there would be four-six new palliative care beds in the Parksville Qualicum Beach region this fall, contrary to what was reported in a front-page story in Tuesday’s edition of The NEWS.

For the record, here’s the statement Carr sent to The NEWS which formed the basis of the story:

“As part of the development of Island Health’s overall end of life plan, we have developed a bed plan for beds in community and hospital settings. The bed plan is based on ‘hospice clusters’ of 4-6 beds in various communities, including Oceanside. These beds will be located in established residential care settings and funded using existing resources.”

On Wednesday morning, Island Health’s Val Wilson sent this e-mail in regards to Carr’s statement:

“Dr. Brendan Carr did not indicate at the public board meeting, or in the follow up quotes that were sent to you, that up to six palliative care beds will open in Oceanside by late fall. Again, while Island Health recognizes the need for additional end of life care beds in communities across Vancouver Island as identified in our overall End of Life Plan, at this time there is no final approval for End of Life beds in Oceanside.”

The late-fall timing referenced in the Tuesday story came from this Carr statement:

“The (Oceanside End of Life Working Group — a group of the Oceanside Division of Family Practice) is currently developing a plan of which the outcome will be to enhance palliative care services in the Oceanside area and anticipates it will complete this plan in early fall. Once approved – anticipated by late fall, implementation of the plan will begin.”

Wilson offered this clarification in her e-mail Wednesday:

“It is the working group’s plan regarding enhancing palliative care services that we anticipate will see the start of implementation in late fall, and not Island Health’s EOL bed plan.”

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